Fear Freezes, But One Question Melts Doubts

Pushing a button or …

Pushing a shovel …

Which is harder?

Today I’ve done both.

And, for me, pushing a button proved the more difficult.


Because fear freezes my heart faster than a Wisconsin winter wind freezes water.

And I was afraid …

… to push the button …

… and send the manuscript back to the publisher.

Again why?

Doubts! Lots of them.

Maybe I should have changed the opening scene. Maybe I should have lengthened the chapters. Maybe I made too many mistakes—poor grammar, bad punctuation, inserting a their where a they’re or a there should have been. Maybe the editor will think I’m lazy or stubborn or arrogant.

Fear froze me into indecision and inaction.

But the answer to a single question melted the fear, and I pushed the send button.

Before I give you the question, I want to share a few others first.

Is my work perfect?


Does my work have mistakes?


Will I improve my work if I give it more time and effort?


What will the editor think of my work habits?

I don’t know.

Do I care?


The questions are real and endless. None of them resolve my anxiety about publishing. None of them quiet fear’s loud presence.

None except one.

Does my work honor God?

Question: How do you overcome the fears and doubts in your work?

You might enjoy this article by guest blogger Chris Patton about serving God in business: Why Am I A Businessman?

2011’s Top Half-Dozen Posts.

1)      4 Lessons I Learned from “Heaven Is For Real”

2)     Shall We Gather at the River?

3)     Jet Lag, Fatigue, and Sick Wife

4)      When Does Inspiration Come?

5)      Tough Times Provide Plenty of Reasons to Be Thankful

6)     How Do You Handle Life’s Surprises?

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About tnealtarver

I've traveled and spoken around the world but always love to come home. There I eat exceptional meals, drink coffee to my heart's content, and get loved like nowhere else on earth. I believe a community centered in Christ should be all that and so much more.
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8 Responses to Fear Freezes, But One Question Melts Doubts

  1. Mary Jeffries says:

    Can not think of a better question to base our lives on!

  2. tnealtarver says:

    Yep! It applies to any aspect of life.

  3. Chuck says:

    Excellent question! Better questions always get better answers.

  4. Kari Scare says:

    I attempt to quell fear and doubt in several ways. First, I pray and ask God to give me a spirit of power and not one of fear. Second, I get around encouraging people. I have some “go to” people who always encourage me, as I hope you do too. Third, I just keep moving. Sometimes, all I can do to overcome fear and doubt is to keep moving forward even if it’s minute-by-minute. Those are a few of my ways I try to overcome fear and doubt in my work. Perfectionism can paralyze me, but I try to keep in mind that I’m being perfected and not perfect yet. Enjoyed your post!

    • tnealtarver says:

      I know when I focus on who I am in Christ–child of God, joint heir with Christ Jesus, gifted in Him … –I’m more confident in my tasks. I agree with being “around encouraging people.” People of faith should fit into that category. We’ve got a lot to be encouraged about. Thanks for sharing, Kari.

      • Kari Scare says:

        Yes, we certainly do have a lot to be encouraged about. And focus is everything… do we focus on being a child of God or the problems we face daily. Do we focus on the negative people in our lives or what the positive ones have said to encourage us. Focus and choice go hand-in-hand.

    • tnealtarver says:

      “Focus and choice go hand-in-hand.” For me, that statement takes a little more thought. The connection between the two is not one to take lightly. Where I focus determines what I choose. Sounds like a thought line worth pursuing further.

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